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An exploratory study suggesting the various uses of intermedia technology to support Indian classical dance in invoking Rasa

  • Author(s): Kumar, Sukanya
  • Advisor(s): Hall, Chad Michael;
  • Crawford, John
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Many western artists have used intermedia performance technology like lighting, projections, digital music, costumes and set design in performances to effectively enhance understanding, create context, elevate experience, and trigger emotions.

The ultimate goal of Indian classical dance is to evoke Rasa. Rasa is comparable to many emotional and psychological responses like 'transcendence' mentioned by western artists. This thesis suggests that instead of resisting technology, Indian classical practitioners should embrace its value and use it to support its endeavor of producing Rasa.

As a demonstration of my suggestion, I choreographed and performed a solo evening-length production titled "War by any other name..." that utilized lighting, projections of artwork and video, customized space, set design, synthesized music, and dialogue to support and enhance the understanding and contextualizing of traditional Indian classical dance movement vocabulary. The theme was centered around war through the ages, from ancient Indian warfare, its pride, the results of the World Wars, to current day terrorism and gun violence. It ends with hope and the power of peace. The production was presented for three evenings at UCI's xMPL theatre.

The aim of this thesis, the paper and the production, is to encourage dialogue in the field of Indian classical dance with respect to the use of technology and how it can be effectively used to strengthen the process of evoking Rasa.

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